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Too Much Kobe

Posted By Scott Johnston On Jan 13 2011 @ 10:46 am In Golden State Warriors | 1 Comment

They shot 51% for the game. They made 13 three-pointers. They only turned the ball over 11 times. Yet, it was the same three problems for the Warriors in their 115-110 loss to the Lakers on Wednesday night. Rebounding, Free Throws and Kobe.

The Lakers are the World Champs the past two years because of two things. They work harder than anyone, and Kobe Bryant. And, in fact, it’s Bryant who makes sure that his teammates work as hard as they do. Nobody, though, works harder than Kobe, and in crunch time, that work usually pays off.

It did again on Wednesday. The Warriors led by eight at the break and by six heading into the 4th quarter. But the champs got a spark from Lamar Odom, which ignited Kobe, and blew up Golden State. Odom scored 10 straight points early in the final quarter, and then watched as Kobe took over scoring 17 of his 39 points in the final six minutes.

Monta Ellis led the Warriors with 38 points of his own despite having missed the past two practices because of the flu. He didn’t look too sick while on the floor connecting on 15 of his 26 shots including 4 of 7 from 3-point range. For a while, he was matching Kobe shot-for-shot. But when Kobe gets on that kind of roll, his “for a while” usually outlasts anyone else’s.

And while beating Kobe isn’t tough enough of a task, it’s almost impossible when the other teams out rebounds you 47-27, and shoots 29 free throws to your 11. The Lakers are just bigger, stronger and tougher then the Warriors and most everyone else in the NBA. That’s why they get fitted for rings, and the Warriors get fitted for suits.

Dorell Wright once again did all he could have been asked to do and has got to get some consideration for most improved player in the NBA. Wright poured in 27 points in playing all 48 minutes and is now averaging 17 points per game and 6 boards while becoming a reliable shooter from distance, including 5 more from downtown against Los Angeles last night.

Still, with Ellis’ All-Star performance in the first half of the season, and Wright’s improved play, the Warriors are still looking to get some kind of consistent inside play from someone other than David Lee. And until that happens, it doesn’t matter how well they shoot, or how little they turn the ball over. As Bobby Knight once said, “You can’t teach size.”

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